If you’re a member of the contact lens-wearing community, you’ve probably found yourself wondering at least once: “Can I hop into the shower with these little wonders still in?” It’s a question that many of my patients have asked, and today, we’ll dive deep (pun intended) into the subject to shed some light on this evergreen query.
First Thing’s First: Is It Dangerous?
The short answer is: Potentially, yes.
Contact lenses are designed for one primary purpose: to help correct vision. They’re not intended for water exposure, especially not from tap water or showerheads. When contact lenses come into contact with water, they can absorb the liquid and cling to the eye more firmly. This makes it more difficult to remove the lens and can also cause mild irritation.
The Issue of Water Purity
The water you use for your daily shower isn’t as pure as you might think. Even with the best water filters in place, tap water can contain a myriad of microorganisms. One of the most concerning for contact lens wearers is the Acanthamoeba organism. This little critter can attach itself to the contact lenses and potentially lead to Acanthamoeba keratitis – a serious eye infection that can threaten your vision.
Additionally, the lenses can trap water between the eye’s surface and the lens itself, creating an ideal environment for bacteria to thrive.
But What If It’s Just a Quick Shower?
Even a brief contact with shower water isn’t recommended. Remember, it’s not just about the length of exposure but the potential contaminants that can latch onto your lenses during that time. It’s always better to err on the side of caution.
Tips for Showering Lens-Free
- Stay Prepared: If you’re an avid shower night owl, consider switching to wearing your glasses a little before your routine. This way, you don’t have to worry about the sudden urge of hopping into the shower with your contacts on.
- Use a Reminder: Place a sticky note or a small sign on your bathroom mirror reminding you to remove your lenses. Trust me, it can be a game-changer!
- Storage: Always keep a contact lens case and solution nearby. Opt for a designated spot in your bathroom to ensure you’re not fumbling around at the last minute.
Your Bottom Line
Can you shower with contact lenses? Technically, yes. But, should you? Most certainly not.
The risks associated with showering with contacts far outweigh the convenience. It’s best to consider those few minutes you take to remove your contacts as an investment in your eye health.
As with all things medical, when in doubt, always consult with your eye care professional. After all, it’s better to be safe than sorry. Happy showering (lens-free, of course)!